Can you spell “laodicean” – or pronounce it?
This was the winning word in the 2009 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. last week. The competition is sometimes referred to as the Super Bowl of spelling. “Laodicean” means lukewarm or indifferent in politics or religion.
13-year-old Kavya Shivashankar from Olathe, Kansas took first place in the contest. This was the 8th-grader’s fourth appearance at the Spelling Bee. She took home $40,000.00 in scholarship money and prizes plus the beautiful first-place trophy. Kavya wants to be a neurosurgeon.
This year, 293 kids made it to the nationals [51% were boys]. Participants in the competition have to be under 16 and not yet in high school. [Photo from BBC News]
Aside: It is reported that Jane Austen (1775-1817), although a great novelist and social commentator, was a poor speller. She wrote Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibilities, Emma and other works.